Today, most fiber broadband companies know direct mail as an effective communication channel that fits perfectly with their efforts to increase brand awareness, inform communities, and acquire and nurture leads. They understand how to use postal mail plus digital channels as part of their overall marketing strategies.

They just wish it was easier to do.

Traditional direct mail can be painful for agile fiber broadband marketing departments with a growing list of markets in which they are doing business. text field on the left, mailbox icon on the right

Old- style direct mail campaigns require long lead times and coordination with multiple entities for list management, copywriting, graphic design, printing, and mailing. For the most part, fiber broadband marketers repeat these tasks for every direct mail drop.

Once you have dozens of campaigns running concurrently in multiple markets, the ability to manage them becomes unwieldy. More automation is the only answer.

Traditional, non-automated direct mail is often performed separately from the rest of the marketing activities. Integration with the marketing automation tech stack is non-existent or requires manual efforts. Individual response tracking is nearly impossible.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. With automated direct mail and a platform like Postalytics, fiber broadband providers can avoid unnecessary time and expense associated with direct mail campaigns.

This playbook describes some of the direct mail challenges we see at fiber broadband companies and covers some solutions for you to consider. We will offer tips and identify opportunities that can only exist with advanced automated platforms like Postalytics.


Scaling Challenges

One issue that always seems to come up in our discussions with fiber broadband providers is how to deal with an increasing number of markets, campaigns, and potential subscribers. We’ve worked with companies who are active in 30-40 markets simultaneously. All these markets can be in different stages of development, and at various locations across the country. In some cases, companies are announcing their presence and introducing future customers to their services. Construction may be underway in other communities, while new addresses become serviceable in territories where construction is nearing completion all at the same time.

For potential subscribers, fiber broadband is a local product. Much of the digital and physical material designed to increase brand awareness and warm the leads must include local references. In a traditional direct mail environment, this means the fiber broadband company must continually customize the artwork and text, while also keeping track of the implementation status of each market. Once you reach a certain number of markets, marketing professionals can struggle to keep up.

Producing geographically relevant elements and getting them approved and shipped off to the correct printing company can take a great deal of time. Proofing the direct mail pieces and maintaining quality control just adds to the headache. Falling behind can be a disaster that snowballs across the organization.

Postalytics’ automation makes campaign task management easier. The text and graphics can be variable, driven by values in the data. This makes it unnecessary to create new designs for every market. Our online proofing function speeds the approval process. By specifying the sequence, timing, and conditions that control which mail to send and at what time, fiber broadband marketers can relieve themselves of the drudgery of manual campaign initiation and management. Expansion won’t be nearly as impactful or require substantial staff support.

Reporting and Analytics

Monitoring and adjusting complex marketing campaigns for fiber broadband providers is a necessary task. Your automated direct mail platform should      provide you with all your campaign data, both at-a-glance and in detail, via a helpful, simple dashboard. 

Your company must have easy access to the data that allows you to assess campaign performance. Which ones are generating the greatest number of desirable responses from prospective subscribers? How do you evaluate the results of A/B tests? Where do you need to step up efforts to meet your targets for subscriber acquisition and customer up-sell? 

Direct mail management tools provide analytics on response rates, returned mail rates, delivery status, responses, conversions, and more. With Postalytics, you can create multi-channel campaigns which are easy to track. A convenient dashboard summarizes all your direct mail activity in graphical displays, with the ability to drill down to view additional details.

QR Codes and pURLs

In conversations with fiber broadband companies, they tell us about QR codes that connect their direct mail pieces to campaign-specific content on the web, such as landing pages containing subscriber sign-up forms. Those are great, but Postalytics can help you make QR codes even more useful by dynamically generating them to be unique for individual mail recipients.

Your company can reduce the subscriber effort necessary to sign up for broadband services by pre-populating the forms with customer data you already have on file. Less friction at the landing page turns into more conversions!

Besides pre-filling forms, Postalytics translates QR codes and pURLs into other personalized messages on your landing pages to make new customers feel recognized and welcomed.

The best part about Postalytics QR codes, however, is the ability to track the online activity of individual prospects. Which prospects have scanned the QR code? Which ones have converted by completing the call-to-action on your landing page? Postalytics can transfer this information to your CRM, enabling you to notify the sales team or initiate other follow-up activities, such as email drip campaigns aimed at engaged prospects.

CRM Integration

CRM Integration -Postalytics & Hubspot

HubSpot is a popular CRM/marketing automation solution among fiber broadband companies and Postalytics has a long history of native integration with the HubSpot system.

Fiber broadband marketers can seamlessly access a broad array of HubSpot data sources to drive their direct mail and omnichannel campaigns. Campaigns can use data stored in HubSpot Contact, Company, or Custom Objects to trigger postal mail, and supply Postalytics with variable data for segmentation and personalization. 

With seamless access to HubSpot data, Postalytics can trigger customized direct mail based on events such as shopping cart abandonment, website visits, approaching contract-renewal and other critical dates, and more. The triggers can account for previous responses to offers or any other customer engagement that will aid in personalizing future marketing communications.

Postalytics captures Information like status updates on mail in transit, returned mail, and transfers the data to HubSpot. With this valuable information accessible right in HubSpot, marketers can complement their direct mail with digital messaging to offer reinforcement, fulfillment, and follow-up. All Postalytics events can appear on HubSpot’s Contact and Company timelines, the same as native HubSpot events like emails sent and opened.

Besides HubSpot, Postalytics supports native integration with a number of other CRM and marketing automation systems, allowing you to combine your direct mail activity with the rest of your MarTech stack. Through our APIs or other popular automation products like Zapier, you can connect Postalytics to any other system within your workflow.

One such system beneficial to fiber broadband providers is Atlas Core, from Atlas Digital Group. Atlas Core works with Hubspot and Postalytics to enable ongoing conversion optimization and performance improvements in the area of customer acquisition.

The Rural Market

Automated direct mail proves especially powerful in rural areas and other underserved communities where internet connections can be spotty or nonexistent. With direct mail, your message reaches potential subscribers directly at their physical addresses, extending your brand’s reach and reputation beyond digital boundaries. 

Fiber broadband companies are smart to use postal mail as a means of informing a neglected demographic about the promise of reliable and efficient internet service. Companies can reach a group that, because of their circumstances, not only appreciates physical mail but also gives it their undivided attention. With direct mail automation, you can localize and personalize messages to address the unique needs and concerns of these underserved communities and relate direct mail messaging to the phases of network construction and customer connections. Build trust and demonstrate your company’s commitment to service excellence, thus making your direct mail campaigns even more effective.

Attracting New Subscribers with Automated Direct Mail

a man getting a mail on the mailbox

Using traditional direct mail campaign processes, you can only do so much to gain subscribers. The nature of the traditional process makes it impossible to react to local conditions or automatically time your messaging to coincide with network construction. The scope of projects across large geographical areas makes it difficult to manage marketing and messaging requirements as your business grows.

Every subscriber counts. Fiber companies know direct mail is an effective communication channel for their business – they just need tools to handle expanding volumes, speed up the process, and integrate with the rest of their marketing tech stack.

That’s where direct mail automation comes in. Direct mail is an effective subscriber attraction tool when implemented with lots of automation and a little strategy. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Understand Your Audience

Personalization amplifies the power of direct mail. Understanding their needs and preferences is key. Who are the potential subscribers? What services are they likely to need? What are their internet usage habits?

Direct mail automation platforms like Postalytics can use information from a CRM or outside sources to help you take advantage of subscriber information and craft personalized messages at scale across multiple markets.

Offer Value

Don’t just focus on selling your service, but offer direct value. Offers could include a free trial period, discounted service for early sign-up, or even a unique gift with subscription. Customer actions recorded in the CRM can trigger these offers. 

Is a prospect not responding to your email drip campaign? Trigger an automated direct mail postcard to get their attention. Still not responding? Send a letter offering a discount!

With automation and integration, you can be much more strategic with your customer communications. Use the same techniques you employ with email to personalize and time your offers, but add the power of direct mail to rise above digital clutter and encourage more engagement.

Strong Call to Action

It’s crucial to motivate your prospects to act. Make your call-to-action call to action clear, compelling, and simple. Supply details about all the ways to respond and ensure the subscription process is straightforward and easy.

Instead of directing customers to generic landing pages and requiring them to fill out lengthy forms, personalize those QR codes and pre-fill the subscriber form with the prospective customer’s names, address, phone number, email address, and other important contact data you may have in your CRM. This makes it much easier for the customers to respond to your call to action.  

Balancing Digital and Physical

a traditional weighing scale with a laptop on the left side and mail envelope on the right

Direct mail is a powerful tool in the hands of savvy fiber broadband companies seeking to expand their subscriber bases. Here’s why: By deploying the automation capabilities of MarTech and postal mail automation tools to marry the physical and the digital, you are more likely to stand out amidst the digital noise and attract attention from your targeted customers.

The idea here is to use each channel’s strengths to counterbalance the other’s weaknesses. Digital channels provide us with vast amounts of data and metrics, which-used judiciously-can inform a targeted, personalized direct mail campaign. Conversely, the tactile nature of direct mail can cut through the noise of the digital world, resulting in a memorable brand interaction. 

The Hybrid Approach to Subscriber Acquisition

Many hybrid methods are possible. Here’s a simple version:

In many cases, fiber broadband companies enter a target neighborhood with only a list of addresses which will be serviced once the fiber optic cables are installed. You may be able to separate businesses from residences, but you have no other information: no names, email addresses, or individual demographic data.

In this scenario, a digital approach is impossible. Direct mail will be your first customer touchpoint.

  1. Start by sending a letter to each address. You may compose different versions for residential and business. The letter comes in a custom envelope featuring your brand logo and introduces your company. This direct mail piece provides basic information and sets expectations about construction and implementation. 
  2. The letter encourages future subscribers to register for progress updates as construction proceeds. Use a pURL and personalized QR code assigned to the postal address to connect the letter to an online registration page pre-filled with the subscriber’s address. All they have to do is add their name and email address.
  3. Immediately after a subscriber registers, email them a confirmation message according to your email opt-in procedures, followed by a welcome email.
  4. Now you have everything you need to communicate via postal mail or email, and to track the prospect’s activity. Use this information to periodically (and automatically) provide updates about construction progress and, eventually, subscription package options. You can use any combination of digital and postal communication.
  5. For new network construction, the next action after a subscriber shows interest in a service plan is to schedule an installation appointment. Use email AND direct mail to ensure this critical step is completed. Fiber broadband companies using phone operators can use collected delivery and conversion data supplied by automated systems to prepare their telemarketers appropriately.
  6. If you are using Postalytics for direct mail automation, you’ll be able to coordinate digital and postal communications seamlessly, track activity, and automatically trigger messages or sequences delivered in multiple channels.

This hybrid approach amplifies the strength of your overall marketing strategy. You work to cement your presence across multiple touchpoints, increasing your brand’s visibility and enhancing your chances of conversion. a text field inside 2 parallel lines

The key here is to run a coordinated, fully integrated campaign that combines both digital and physical outreach efforts. This creates a seamless customer experience and increased engagement levels.

Upselling Current Subscribers: An Untapped Opportunity

Expanding service offerings to your existing customers (upselling) is a lucrative strategy. It offers the dual advantage of increasing your average revenue per user (ARPU) and fortifying the relationship with your subscriber base. And here lies the role of direct mail — a powerful tool you can use to convey your upsell offers effectively and personally. 

Customers who receive upgrade offers via a jumbo postcard, for example, notice your offer instantly. They don’t have to click or navigate or even open an envelope. You can use eye-catching graphics to explain the offer in simple terms, increasing the chances they will consider the proposed upgrade.

Automated direct mail allows you to deliver a human touch, adding a personal element to your upselling initiatives. Each subscriber can receive a unique deal that correlates to their usage patterns, increasing the chances of conversion.

Make it easy for customers to accept the offer. QR codes on the postcards connect customers to personalized landing pages where they can evaluate choices for data speeds, service plans, or equipment specials. The choices appearing on personalized landing pages can correspond to each customer’s level of service, usage statistics, loyalty, or other factors–and can have that pre-filled contact form we mentioned earlier, too. 

Measured Response Rates

3 people , 1 woman on the left side pointing into graphs and charts in front of 2 people sitting in a chair and table

Armed with response data from direct mail campaigns, you can measure the effectiveness of your upselling strategies and tweak them as needed to maximize results. Through metrics such as response rate and conversion rate, you’ll know exactly what is working and what needs improvement. Platforms such as Postalytics offer the ability to conduct A/B tests that reveal which combination of messaging, design, and offer work the best.

To use direct mail as an efficient tool for upselling, follow these steps:

  1. Analyze Subscriber Data: Understand the individual needs, preferences, and usage patterns of your existing subscribers. This information is key to creating personalized offers that are hard to resist.
  2. Design Attractive Offers: After analyzing subscriber data, use it to craft compelling offers. Whether it’s a bandwidth upgrade at a discounted price, or an add-on service, make sure it matches your subscriber’s needs.
  3. Create Attention-Grabbing Direct Mail: Your direct mail piece should not only carry your offer but do it in a way that catches the eye. Use engaging design and clear, concise language to convey your message. Don’t forget to include images, as “a picture is worth a thousand words!”
  4. Track, Evaluate, and Refine: Continuously monitor campaign results and use this data to refine future initiatives. Use services like Postalytics to track response rates, customer engagement, and conversions.

Upselling is not merely about selling more—it’s about delivering more value. And direct mail offers the perfect venue to convey this value right to your customers’ doorsteps.

Driving Customer Retention and Loyalty

Retaining current customers is just as important as gaining new ones. This industry has long suffered from customer churn. Herein lies another unique value proposition of automated direct mail campaigns — the capacity to drive customer retention and bolster brand loyalty.

Customers appreciate it when a company makes them feel remembered and valued. Receiving personalized physical mail can evoke these emotions in your customers significantly more than an impersonal email. This small token of consideration can deepen the emotional connection between your company and your subscribers, fostering an environment of loyalty and reducing churn rate. 

The Magic of Appreciation: Saying “Thanks” with Direct Mail

One strategy to employ in your direct mail campaigns is the concept of appreciation. A “Thank You” or “Welcome” direct mail strategy can be a powerful tool. Welcoming new customers with gratitude and furnishing them with important information starts a customer relationship on the right foot. Sending personalized thank-you letters to long-term subscribers or customers who’ve upgraded their plans can aid in maintaining a strong relationship with your subscriber base. Thank-you messages not only reaffirm their decision to stay with your company but also increase their overall satisfaction and feeling of being valued. 

Preventing Churn: Unique Offers to Retain High-Risk Subscribers

Another fascinating application of direct mail for customer retention involves targeting subscribers you may identify as high-churn risks. These can be subscribers who are approaching the end of their contracts, those who’ve downgraded their services, or subscribers whose usage patterns suggest dissatisfaction. 

A well-crafted direct mail piece offering unique offering, for example, rebates, extra services, or personalized plans can be a powerful incentive. Use automated direct mail triggered by conditions in your CRM to convince these high-risk subscribers to reconsider their position and remain with your service. This can all be done programmatically, without the hassle of manually collecting data and sending it to a print service provider that demands minimum quantities to furnish you with reasonable prices for direct mail services.

Celebrating Milestones: Making Your Subscribers Feel Special

Consider celebrating subscriber milestones, such as subscription      anniversaries or other important events with direct mail. 

Acknowledge and appreciate milestones with a mailed note to foster a personal connection and make your subscribers feel unique and respected. Why should birthdays be the only anniversaries to get some love?

Competitors bombard your customers continuously with enticing offers available only to new subscribers. Give your existing customers a reason to be loyal and not jump to these introductory offers by letting them know you recognize their patronage and value their business. Sentiments such as these get lost in the morass of emails, but a personal letter is far more likely to get noticed.

Getting Customers Back: What to Do After They Leave

2 women conversing , one is holding a paper and the other one holding a pen

Just because a customer canceled doesn’t mean they won’t return. Former customers see email win-back campaigns for what they are cheap, half-hearted attempts to lure them away from the competition. A direct mail win-back strategy tells customers you are serious about regaining their business and a willingness to spend some money to communicate that desire.

Letters or postcards can offer former customers information about how they can easily switch back, including details about regaining lost loyalty points or swapping equipment. These offers and the intensity of the campaigns can be driven by information in your CRM systems connected to Postalytics. You will probably connect the direct mail win-back messages to complementary digital efforts your CRM will process automatically.

Postal mail gets through Important: Postal Mail is far more likely to get through to customers who may be prone to ignoring or blocking your digital outreach efforts.

Targeting and Personalizing

Targeting and personalization are what make direct mail so interesting to modern marketers. Mass mailings are rare these days – it’s days; it’s just too expensive and wasteful. With the tools and the technology available today, fiber broadband providers can design direct mail campaigns that eliminate much of the cost and inconvenience that used to be part of the process. 

Target a group by identifying a specific demographic or category of potential subscribers who are likely to be interested in your services. Thorough knowledge and understanding of your prospects are crucial. 

For instance, let’s say your company specializes in providing high-speed connections suitable for heavy online gamers. By targeting direct mail to households with frequent game purchases or to regions with Esports activity, you increase your chances of getting their attention, making your campaign more effective.

Personalization, on the other hand, is about making each direct mail piece seem personal and unique to its recipient. Personalized mail is more likely to be opened, and it can significantly improve your conversion rates. It involves using a customer’s name, referencing their specific needs, or even creating offers based on their unique usage patterns. You can only accomplish these techniques at scale with automated direct mail platforms.

Take, for example, a simple scenario where an existing customer is not using their broadband’s full potential because they are uninformed. Sending personalized direct mail with guidelines on how they could enjoy better streaming experiences, or faster download speeds, can lead to them opting for a better (and more expensive) package.

By leveraging customer data, fiber broadband providers can personalize their automated direct mail offers to create an individual feel. This approach resonates better, leading customers to perceive your brand as more attentive and trusted.

Targeting and personalization can make your direct mail campaign more efficient, engaging, and successful. The key is to approach these strategies carefully, ensuring you back your efforts with solid data and a genuine understanding of your customer’s needs and behaviors.

Best Practices in Targeting and Personalizing Your Direct Mail

Now that we’ve established the importance of targeting and personalization, let’s look at some best practices you can apply to your direct mail campaigns.

  • Invest in market research: This research will help you create an ideal customer profile and understand your target market’s needs and preferences.
  • Always segment your mailing list: Segment based on various factors like usage patterns, region, or any specific attributes relevant to your business.
  • Make the offer relevant and irresistible: Personalize the offer based on customer data to show them that you know them!      
  • Invest and tweak for success: Always measure the success of your direct mail campaigns and make necessary adjustments.
  • Automate: Take advantage of solutions like Postalytics that eliminate much of the time and hassle of direct mail and connects to your other marketing automation tools.

The Future of Direct Mail in the Fiber Broadband Industry

a guy in blue jacket holding a telescope to his eyes

We cannot overstate the importance of direct mail for fiber broadband companies, especially when considering future marketing strategies. Though many might believe the growing focus on digital platforms to be a sign of things moving solely in one direction, discounting the value of direct mail would be a mistake. Mail offers something that digital communication channels cannot: a format that provides tactile, engaging, and personalized communication.

Forecasts for the future of this marketing strategy show promising prospects for those willing to leverage it through automation and integration. We’ve already seen an uptick in direct mail marketing since the pandemic. The mail, when produced with modern, technically advanced methods and blended with digital elements, offers a complementary method that is highly efficient for reaching past, current, and future customers.

Big Data and Direct Mail

Companies in the fiber broadband sector already deal with substantial amounts of customer data. In the future, increasing amounts of data will become available. This makes it even more crucial to have systems in place that can sort this information and make it useful without adding to marketing department headcounts. Here’s where direct mail can help. By combining the power of big data insights with automated automated direct mail, you can create highly targeted campaigns that address the consumer’s needs or interests.

The biggest objection marketers have with direct mail is its expense. With data and a modern platform like Postalytics, companies can:

  • Filter unlikely buyers
  • Approach customers at the most opportune times
  • Connect postal data with individual or household online behavior
  • Personalize direct mail pieces with messages, offers, and images at scale
  • Track responses from individual customers
  • Integrate physical and digital messaging

All these data-driven attributes of direct mail serve to decrease the cost and increase the response and conversion rates of campaigns simultaneously. Smart, efficient direct mail improves the ROI of your campaigns while making them much more affordable too.

Omnichannel Marketing

Direct mail has already essentially ceased to exist as a stand-alone strategy, especially for high-tech organizations. Instead, these companies integrate direct mail seamlessly into omnichannel marketing efforts. This could involve sending out a physical mailer that points users to an online destination or following up a digital ad with a piece of direct mail that reinforces the message of the online promotion. This seamless experience across multiple channels creates a more robust and immersive campaign, benefiting both your brand and the consumer experience.

Innovation in Mail Formats

The future will see the rise of more innovative and engaging formats in the mail. Direct mailers will not just be letters or postcards. Instead, you can explore options like pop-up mailers, dimensional mailers, scented mailers, or even interactive mailers with embedded technology like AR (Augmented Reality). These enhancements will make the mailer more engaging, increasing the chances of customers noticing your message and acting upon it.

Automation and Direct Mail

As with many other industries, automation is playing a more dominant role in direct mail campaigns. Postalytics was ahead of the curve in this regard. For years, we have offered companies the ability to target, personalize, and send direct mail without the hassle and expense normally associated with traditional mail campaigns. By connecting Postalytics to a CRM system, our customers benefit from campaigns triggered by certain customer activities or set to deploy at specific intervals. Automation eases the load on their marketing teams and ensures consistent touchpoints with their customers.

Postalytics customers also mount large mailing campaigns, sending segmented and personalized postcards and letters to members of their mailing lists. They filter their lists based on relevant criteria and campaign objectives.

While no one can predict the future exactly, one thing is clear: automated direct mail will continue to have a significant role to play in the marketing toolkit of fiber broadband companies. By embracing these trends and remaining open to new possibilities, businesses can stay at the forefront of their industry and connect with their customers.

The ability to stay ahead in a highly competitive industry calls for not just adopting the right strategies, but also equipping oneself with the right solutions. For automated direct mail marketing, modern services like Postalytics come into the picture.

Digital Direct Mail Automation

Postalytics leverages automation to make direct mail as easy and efficient as sending emails. You will not manage the tedious tasks or grapple with the logistical nightmares of traditional direct mail, allowing you more time to strategize and focus on your core objectives. Your direct mail management tasks will not become unmanageable as your business grows.

We’ve shielded our customers from the difficult aspects of direct mail:

  • List management
  • Postal logistics
  • Minimum mailing sizes
  • Long lead times
  • Cumbersome analytics and tracking
  • Coordination with print companies
  • Variable data printing
  • Personalization

Postalytics makes it easy for companies to add direct mail to their marketing strategies without encountering the roadblocks and challenges that may have kept them from fully using an efficient marketing channel. We integrate with world-class CRM and marketing automation platforms. CRM integration significantly streamlines and enhances the quality of your list management procedures, ensuring that every direct mail reaches the right recipient across multiple markets, at the right time.

With a built-in dashboard for analytics, Postalytics offers real-time views into campaign performance, from delivery status to response rates. These insights can be invaluable in shaping future marketing decisions and improving the effectiveness of your direct mail strategies.

With Postalytics’ automated solutions, you can create unique messages for each recipient based on their preferences or behavior, significantly enhancing the relevance of your communications – and doing it at scale.

As you consider how to leverage the power of direct mail for your fiber broadband company, solutions like Postalytics can help make the journey smoother and more effective. With automation, targeted personalization, and actionable analytics at your disposal, direct mail marketing can become a strategic hero in your marketing toolkit.